New Classic: 1994 BMW 530iT

The E34 is an emerging new classic as BMW shifts more radically away from these designs and good examples becoming harder and harder to find each year.

The styling by Ercole Spada working closely under Claus Luthe is nothing less than brilliant. They took everything that was good about BMW in the past and looked into the future, ending with a statement that is timeless, which was no doubt their secret goal. The E34 was a monumental feat in that it leaped beyond the outgoing E28 yet it still retained a core BMW identity of post-industrial Euro-Germanic technology. It's aggressive but restrained, flashy but conservative, formal but sporty.

The E34 debuted in 1988 and lasted until 1995, becoming the standard issue upper-class mobile of the developed world during that era. Along with the E32, they marked a new chapter for BMW as they went toe to toe with rival Mercedes-Benz for the first time. The E34 is every bit as competent and good looking, if not more so, than the comparative 1986-1995 Benz W124.

A lesser recognized wagon version was also offered. Mercedes already established a strong reputation for wagons in the U.S. with the W123 and the W124 continued doing so. It was hard for the E34 wagon to beat. Since the E34 is primarily an ultra-functional car designed for speed, comfort, and reliability, the idea of a wagon is especially sensible, and the design is handled very well.

This is the 530, which was only offered in 1994-1995, the final two years of the E34. It featured a brand new 32-valve DOHC 3.0-liter V8 engine producing a healthy 218 horsepower directed to the rear wheels. Only 37,292 were produced, and even less were V8 station wagons. The larger 540i was also available. In a rare slip up from BMW, these suffered from the infamous Nikasil problem, but if this example has made it to 150k, the block was either replaced or it was never affected.

It's important to note that even Mercedes-Benz never offered a V8 in a wagon. The V8 wagon segment is so small I can't even think of anything similar. A Chevy?

These also came with an over-sized sunroof that opened from both ends, so front and rear passengers could enjoy air and sun from above.

The seller is a dealer and report the odometer as reading 150,562. They do mention an accident appears on the Carfax in 2007, but there is no visible damage, so it was hopefully repaired. They also note some wear and tear on the body, paint, and interior.

Honestly, the condition actually strikes me as slightly better than typically seen and the car looks good overall from a distance as a lot of BMW do. This is so much car for so little price that most flaws can easily be overlooked.

Available here on ebay in Orlando, Florida with a Buy-It-Now of $3,995 and the Make Offer option.

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